October 24, 2019 / 8:02 PM / 21 days ago

White House working on messaging on impeachment: U.S. Senator Graham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday that the White House is working on messaging on the House of Representatives probe into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, and later tweeted that he meant they are developing a strategy.

“I did not mean to leave some with the impression the White House needed to hire a new team to handle impeachment,” Graham wrote on Twitter after a press briefing where he unveiled a resolution rebuking the House over how it is running the probe. “My interactions with the White House were in regards to a more coordinated strategy dealing with impeachment. What is in development at the White House is the emphasis on a strategy — not personnel.”

Earlier at the news briefing, Graham said he had talked to the White House’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, adding “I think they’re working on getting a messaging team together.”

Graham pointed to the impeachment defense followed by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, as a model, saying he “had a team that was organized, that had legal minds that could understand what was being said versus the legal proceedings in question, and they were on message every day.

“President Clinton defended himself but he never stopped being president,” Graham said. “And I think one of the reasons that he survived is that the public may not have liked what the president had done but believed that he was still able to do his job ... I’m hoping that will become the model here.”

Reporting by David Morgan and Lisa Lambert; Writing by Lisa Lambert; editing by Bill Berkrot and Sandra Maler

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